February 27, 2020 - 13:26 AMT
Putin admits he was offered to use body double but rejected the idea

Russian President Vladimir Putin has confessed that the idea of having a body double was floated for the sake of ensuring the safety of the head of state in the early 2000s, but he rejected it, TASS reports.

"I discarded the idea of any doubles," Putin said in an interview for the project "20 Questions with Vladimir Putin." "This happened during the toughest time of our war on terrorism."

Putin recalled that in the early 2000s, he had been advised that a body double should substitute him at events where he might be at risk. The idea was rejected once and for all.

Putin and his interviewer, Andrei Vandenko, found out that an Internet search for "Putin’s double" was among the most popular ones on the world wide web. The public at large often expressed similar assumptions as far back as 20 years ago.

On December 24, 2001, a woman from the Kostroma Region asked this question during a live broadcast. She speculated that a double might be helpful when holding very important meetings, even top-level ones. Putin then replied that he had no political decoy. Another incident like this occurred in Sochi in August 2009, when Putin and then Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev decided to take a stroll along the waterfront among locals and visiting holiday-goers. A woman then remarked that the two were really doubles of the president and prime minister. "We are not doubles, we are real," Medvedev replied, smiling back.